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(Two Medicine)

In the Blackfeet’s creation, they tell stories of how their people began to suffer and die long ago. Seeing their suffering, the creator, Istapatipeop returned to the tribe and led them into the land of mountains and rolling hills and gave them the gift of communication with the creator and other spirits. This land includes what is now known as the Badger – Two Medicine and is of great importance of spiritual and resourceful power to the Blackfeet people because it is there that the spirits remain and where the Blackfeet can go to be alone near creator sun, Napi Natuse while still standing on mother earth, Sukametope, so that their prayers can be heard.

Two Powers

"Two Medicine Lodges

Along the shore of a sacred lake, two medicines lodges had been built.

Ceremonies were held, chants were sung, and prayers were made.

Old Man, through his spirit helpers, answered the prayers."


Healing on the Land

"Happiness and Prosperity

Wind Spirit brought forth the rain.

The grass grew thick and green.

Waters and streams were replenished.

The buffalo returned.

Happiness and prosperity dwelt within the land of the Blackfeet."

Piegan and The Elk-Dog


As an orphaned and abandoned boy, Long Arrow was adopted by the elder Good Running. Upon reaching manhood, Long Arrow asked Good Running how he could repay him. Good Running told him of a spirit people at the bottom of a distant lake who had an unknown animal, swift as an elk but also a burden-carrier, like a dog. It was called ponoka-mita (Elk Dog).


Long Arrow found the lake and met a young spirit who took him to the bottom, where the spirit grandfather lived. The young spirit told Long Arrow to watch for a glimpse of the old man’s feet, which he kept hidden under his long black robe. If Long Arrow saw them, the old man would grant his request.


After four days, the old man’s robe caught on a post, and Long Arrow saw that he had hoofs like the Elk Dogs. The old man was the master of the Elk Dogs. Long Arrow asked for three things: the black robe that prevented horses from running away, a rainbow-colored quilled belt that carried Elk Dog dance songs and prayers, and a herd of the animals. The old man granted the requests and also gave Long Arrow a magic rope to catch the Elk Dog. And so the Blackfeet have been horse-people ever since.

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